Singapore will become the first country in the world to ban advertisements of packaged drinks with very high sugar content, announced Senior Minister of State for Health Edwin Tong on October 10.
Accordingly, drinks with medium-to-high sugar content willbe forced to carry a label on the front of the pack to warn consumers. Thefront-of-pack label will be colour-coded and show a grade to indicate if thedrink is healthy, neutral or unhealthy.
Tong said these changes are designed to encourage people tomake more informed choices and to get manufacturers to reduce the sugar contentin packaged sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs).
The move is among the country’s efforts to fight diabetes,its current pressing health issue.
In December 2018, the Singaporean Ministry of Health and theHealth Promotion Board began eight weeks of public consultation on how toreduce sugar intake in the country. Four measures were proposed – mandatoryfront-of-pack label, regulation on advertising, a sugar tax, and a ban onhigh-sugar prepackaged beverages.
The use of a compulsory label received the highest support,with 84 percent of the more than 4,000 respondents in favour of it.
Tong said Singaporean agencies will continue study an exciseduty or a ban on higher-sugar SSBs.
Most of makers of medium-to-high sugar content drinks havenot supported the government’s exhortations to reduce sugar content. High-sugardrinks are popular in Singapore, accounting for half of all sugar-sweetenedbeverages sold here./. VNA